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Published January 24, 2012
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 1/17/12)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions have improved slightly from one month ago, particularly in southeast and northeast New Mexico, where precipitation generally has been above average. Extreme drought is no longer present in the northeast corner, although severe conditions still remain. In the southeast, exceptional drought covers less than half the area it did 30 days ago, largely because winter storms delivered more than 150 percent of average in the last month. Drought, however, continues to blanket the majority of the state (Figure 5a). As of January 17, about 91 percent of the state was still classified with abnormally dry conditions or a more severe drought category (Figure 5b).
While the eastern half of the state has been generally wetter than average, the western half has been drier than average. In these regions, rain and snow have measured less than 75 percent of average. This weather is likely influenced by the ongoing weak to moderate La Niña event, which often helps divert storms from the west farther north. With the expectation that the La Niña will continue into spring, drier-than-average conditions are still favored in most of New Mexico for the next few months.Notes:
The New Mexico section of the U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The maps are based on expert assessment of variables including (but not limited to) the Palmer Drought Severity Index, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, and measures of vegetation stress, as well as reports of drought impacts. It is a joint effort of several agencies.
This summary contains substantial contributions from the New Mexico Drought Working Group.
For the most current drought status map, visit:
For the most current Drought Status Reports, visit:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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